Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: God's Sustainment Of Israel In The Wilderness Wanderings Amid Humanly Hopeless Trials
U. Enjoying God's Fellowship And Guidance In Heeding His Word
(Exodus 40:1-38)
  1. Introduction
    1. No experience in this earthly life can fulfill like fellowship with God and seeing Him guide us. Without this, our earthly sojourn is an exercise in "vanity of vanities" as writes the author of the Ecclesiastes!
    2. Yet, to enjoy such blessing, we must fully heed God's Word, a lesson illustrated in Exodus 40:1-38:
  2. Enjoying God's Fellowship And Guidance In Heeding His Word, Exodus 40:1-38.
    1. Exodus 40:1-33 provides the extensive directives God spoke to Moses on assembling the parts of the tabernacle, and the way Moses proceeded to heed those directives (as follows):
      1. God told Moses to erect the tabernacle from its constructed parts on the first day of the first month nearly a year after they left Egypt (on the fourteenth of that month), Exodus 40:1-2 with 12:1-6. We read in Exodus 40:17 that Moses erected the tabernacle on that very day commanded by the Lord.
      2. God told Moses to put the ark of the covenant and its cover, the mercy seat, within the veil in the holiest of holies (Exodus 40:3), and Moses obeyed according to Exodus 40:20-21.
      3. God told Moses to bring the table of shewbread, the candlestick with its light along with the altar of incense into the holy place, and to install the curtain hanging for the door of the holy place (Ex. 40:4-5), and Moses obeyed regarding all these furnishing according to Exodus 40:22-27.
      4. God told Moses to place the bronze altar before the tabernacle in Ex. 40:6, and he did so in Ex. 40:29.
      5. God told Moses to set the laver with water for washing between the bronze altar and tabernacle (Ex. 40:7), and Moses obeyed this order according to Exodus 40:30.
      6. God told Moses to set up the courtyard fencing in Exodus 40:8, and Moses did so in Exodus 40:33.
      7. God told Moses to anoint the articles of the tabernacle in consecration in Exodus 40:9-11, and Exodus 40:16 reveals that Moses must have done this (although the text does not specifically say as much).
      8. God told Moses to consecrate Aaron and his sons in Exodus 40:12-15, and Moses did so according to Exodus 40:31-32 as implied by the text at that passage.
    2. Indeed, Exodus 40:16 summarily reports Moses heeded all God commanded on erecting the tabernacle!
    3. Thus, for the next thirty-nine years in her wilderness journeys, Israel enjoyed access to God's fellowship and His practical guidance relative to the tabernacle structure, Exodus 40:34-38 with Numbers 9:15-23:
      1. Upon heeding all of God's words regarding properly building the parts of the tabernacle, and in assembling these constructed parts and consecrating it, God showed His approval by bringing His visible presence in the cloudy pillar to cover and then to fill the whole tabernacle, Exodus 40:34.
      2. So comfortable was God in this dwelling, we read Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle for the thickness of the cloud and the brilliance of the divine glory that was there, Exodus 40:35.
      3. Then, for the next thirty-nine years of wilderness travels (Exodus 16:35), God's presence stayed with the tabernacle, and He guided Israel in relation to it (Exodus 40:36-38) as detailed in Numbers 9:15-23:
        1. By day, the cloud was seen as a cloud, but, by night, the cloud glowed with a fire to give light for God's people who needed it in the night, Numbers 9:15-16.
        2. The cloud would rise and move when God wanted the nation to move, and it settled at the spot where He wanted Israel to set up the tabernacle and camp, Numbers 9:17.
        3. The cloud could move after part of a day or a night (Numbers 9:21a), and it could move either at night or by day (Numbers 9:21b), or it could stay in one spot for a year (Numbers 9:22). Regardless, God clarified where He wanted Israel to be at any given moment, and that for the next 39 years!
Lesson: For heeding God on the construction and assembly of the tabernacle, God provided Israel with fellowship and practical, detailed guidance for Israel's thirty-nine remaining years in the wilderness.

Application: If we want to enjoy God's fellowship and guidance in our lives, we must walk in the light as He is in the light -- to heed Scripture, 1 John 1:7; Isaiah 8:20. May we be motivated to DO what God's Word CALLS us to do to enjoy His BLESSING ALL DURING our EARTHLY SOJOURNS!